Golden: SF Zoo's Horned Owl Turns 50

King Richard has lived at the San Francisco Zoo since 1975.

By Jason Middleton
|  Saturday, Mar 31, 2012  |  Updated 7:14 AM PDT
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King Richard -- a female -- is a great horned owl who is turning 50 this weekend.

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Who knew? San Francisco Zoo's great horned owl has outlived all expectations, turning 50 on Sunday, April 1.

King Richard -- she's actually a female -- has lived at the zoo since 1975 and hatched in 1962, according to a news release. She's primarily off-exhibit but is in fine health.

She was taken too young from the nest, the release reads, and was given to the zoo after several attempts to put her back in the wild.

Unable to fly, she's an original Wildlife Ambassador for the zoo, for educational outreach programs and others.

Great horned owls can grow from 18"-27" and have a wingspan between 40"-60.5". Their 'horns' are simply tufts of feathers. Their breeding habitats span from the sub-Arctic North America all the way down to the southernmost tip of the South American mainland.

It's voracious in its appetite for rodents, making it a farmer favorite -- consuming 2,000-3,000 rodents in a single year.

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